It’s a small world

My favourite model village quote is actually from Hot Fuzz - “You wanna be a big cop in a small town? F*ck off up the model village.” However, I felt that wasn’t an appropriate title for a family blog, so decided to stick with the Disney theme for now!

With slight holiday blues, and drowning in the mountain of unpacking and washing, we had planned to meet some friends at Bekonscot Model Village and Railway at the end of last week. The weather forecast wasn’t great, and we had worried we might have to change plans, but in the end we decided to be very British, stick on the waterproofs, and risk it. 

To be honest, I wasn’t sure how long a model village would hold a bunch of toddlers attention for, and I probably wouldn't have picked it out to visit myself, but my friend had visited before and said her little boy was fascinated by it so I was more than happy to give it a shot. 

The free car parking for the model village is at the church across the road - just a short stroll away. Entry seems a little pricey at £10 an adult, and £6 for Charlotte, but Benjamin was free as an under 2. It also looks like they have various concessions, special prices and season ticket options - which seemed pretty reasonable if you lived locally. You can also use Tesco Days Out Tokens.  I think that a lot of their proceeds go to charity (although I can't find any details about that on the website - so don't quote me!), so can't really complain at £16 for a day out at "the world's oldest and original model village". And when I say "day out", I mean it. We were there all day!

As soon as I walked into the model village I was won over - it is so cute.

I'm not sure many real zoos would get away with hosting a "Chimp's tea party" but this village frozen in the 1930s certainly does!

The kids were transfixed by the train set running throughout the village, and they were running over the little bridges, between the stations, and different areas just to try see where the train was going to appear next. I am no model railway expert but for the enthusiasts amongst you there's plenty of information about it over on the website.

My friends and I commented on how the village was very big for a village but the website tells me the model village is actually comprised of 6 model towns. My favourite of the 6 has to be Bekonscot Town purely for the self professed "terrible, terrible puns for shop names".  I didn't take any photos of these, and I forgot to jot them down, but if my memory serves me correctly there was a Kris P Letis greengrocers which I particularly enjoyed. I also really liked the name of the decorator - something along the lines of Juan Cote - but if you know for sure let me know! Not being able to remember has been really bugging me!

The kids also really loved watching the miniature cable cars and the gorgeous little fun fair.

As well as the model village there is a really good little play park (not too big for us to keep an eye on 6 kiddywinks!). There are also a few things that carry an additional charge - remote controlled boats, a ride-on train, pirate blast water cannons, and loads of those little sit on rides you have to try avoid whenever you go into the supermarket.

Luckily, a lot of those rides were out of order so I didn't have to tell my "oh no, I can't put money in as it's not working" lie. It genuinely wasn't!

The kids did have a go on the remote controlled boats and the ride-on train though. The toddlers loved the boats - although they had no idea what they were doing in terms of steering them! Plenty of collisions! The ride on train, well, we'd probably avoid that if we returned. It was only an additional £1 a person (having looked on the website, under 2s should be free, but I did pay for Benjamin too) but if you have a train mad little one, and you've been to lots of other similar things, they'd probably be a little disappointed by the very short journey here.

We really did have such a great day out. We enjoyed our picnic lunches in the undercover picnic area, having bought some additional hot drinks and juices from the tea room, and I don't think any of the toddlers wanted to leave at the end of the day. Bekonscot is a little drive away for me, but we would most definitely return.